There was poetry in it, or perhaps some kind of metaphor. The cematary was edged right up to the high school, and it almost appeared that they were elbowing each other– gently, I hoped– for space. The boundary of land between them zigged and zagged back in forth in neat little rectangular plots.
That’s how I found myself ambling among the tomb stones while football practice carried on: students made oversized in pads, bustling this way in that, looking like a warrior training camp (I suppose in some sense it was) the yells, the sounds of the runners, of the meaty thuds as they assaulted the tackling dummies.
But that came from afar. It almost enhanced the quiet, where I was, through the power of contrast.
It didn’t take us long. In the movies, fictional characters never forget where the grave stone is. When deaths happen in movies they are Monumental. When people visit grave sites it is High Drama. In real life?
My grandmother died about 8 years ago. And I loved her. But somehow I had never made it here. I don’t know why.
We located it soon and quickly enough. My dad, her son, was with us. If he hadn’t been there, it would not have been such an easy thing. But we stood there.
Dad, and me, and my youngest son, Ethan. Three generations come to pay homage to a fourth generation.
In a movie, if it hadn’t been thundering out, if I hadn’t been there drinking liquor straight out of the bottle, if I hadn’t been railing at the injustice of the world, at the bare minimum we would have shared stories and talked about her.
But we stood in companionable silence. Even Ethan, who is forever bouncing, bopping, running, rolling, or at least wandering, he stood with us, just quiet. It wasn’t somber, just a quiet moment, on an amazing Fallish day, leaves just hinting that maybe they will turn colors, breeze mitigating the suns intensity.
There is a story: why we were there. What we did next. It’s a story I am still in the middle of, a true story that hasn’t yet resolved itself. I’d like to tell you that story. But one of the places it starts is there, at my grandmothers grave, with my dad and my boy.